Italian new government: “Demolition Man” Matteo Renzi doesn’t seem to have scrapped much

Renzi presents his government at the Quirinale Presidential Palace
Renzi presents his government at the Quirinale Presidential Palace

A new government. The fourth in three years. The third of these four non-elected by a democratic vote. Welcome to Italy. Rudyard Kipling said about us: “An Italian is a good person. Two Italians a discussion. Three Italians three political parties.” That’s right, historically we divide and we don’t know the political stability.

The new government led by Matteo Renzi, who is 39 years old (he is the youngest premier in the history of the Italian Republic) and known as “Demolition man” for his plans to scrap the old political class, was created with the old ways of the old politics: a palace coup. The man – who certainly doesn’t lack ambition – grew up as an opponent of the Palace of power today is in the same Palace, without democratic legitimacy.

He said his face is at stake. But it’s the face of Italy at stake, and not only the face. The recovery of the economy and the consequent creation of new jobs cannot wait any longer in a country where real GDP in 2013 was at the same level it was in 2000 and where unemployment has exceeded 12%, with the youth unemployment rate dramatically exceeding 40%.

Honestly, we expected more courage from Renzi, which however we do our very best wishes in the interest of the country. Can personal ambition be put before everything? Why should his government, which is based on the same majority that supported the prime minister Enrico Letta, be better able to make the reforms that Italy needs to do and start growth?

We look forward to the test of facts. Unfortunately, the list of his ministers lets us not to dream. In Economy prevails continuity: after Mario Monti, Vittorio Grilli and Maurizio Saccomanni arrives Pier Carlo Padoan, in a logic of safeguarding the interests of the ECB and the economic policies imposed by Germany. In the other two economic ministries there are two representatives of lobbies: Federica Guidi, Confindustria (the Confederation of Italian Industries), is the minister of Economic Development (she is considered to be very close to Berlusconi), and Giuliano Poletti, League of Cooperatives, is the minister of Labour.

But the data more daunting, if we look to the new government from the point of view of the bioeconomy, is that it seems that in the other relevant ministries we have taken a step backwards, or at least certainly not a step forward. The minister of Environment is Gianluca Galletti, a man who represents the small party Union of the Center and who, during the government led by Letta, was undersecretary at the Ministry of Research. Does he have expertise in the environmental field? No, he doesn’t. The impression is that the Ministry of Environment was used only to give a place to one of the small parties on which is based the parliamentary majority.

Minister of Agriculture is Maurizio Martina, expression of the establishment of the Democratic Party, known for his proximity to the former “deus ex machina” of the Party, Filippo Penati, who is under investigation by the prosecutor in Monza and who – according to what was stated by the Court of Auditors – would caused a loss of EUR 100 million to the Treasury by buying from a well-known speculator controversial majority shareholder of a motorway in Northern Italy. Aside from that, not wanting to lean the responsibility of Penati to Martina, the appointment of the new minister does not seem to be revolutionary. He doesn’t emerge for special skills, if not to belong to the right current within his party.

Minister of Research is Stefania Giannini, former rector of the University for Foreigners of Perugia. An appointment in continuity with the previous ones. If with Monti was minister Francesco Profumo, former rector of the Polytechnic of Turin, with Letta was minister Maria Chiara Carrozza, former rector of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa.

Obviously, the minister of University and Research in Italy must have previously led a university. But what kind of political stability can be ensured for policies on Research and Innovation if the ministry is always in the hands of technicians?

In short, “Demolition man” Renzi does not seem to have scrapped much. The main opponents in parliament – Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, the leader of the Movement 5 Stars (movement that at the last election was the most voted list by Italians) – thank him. The ex-premier Berlusconi, kicked out of the senate last year for a tax-fraud conviction, has already successfully negotiated an election-reform bill with Renzi.

Felice Amori

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